How Writing My First Book Completely Broke Me Down
Back in June 2017 I set out to do something I’ve always wanted to do but never had time.
I began writing my first book.
I had the whole plan laid out in my head. For an entire year, I would document every vulnerable moment beginning with the day I turned in my resignation letter to my initial months as a rookie entrepreneur.
I was quite dedicated and consistent with my writing, almost to the point of sharing too much.
I now realize that writing this book went beyond my original goal. It ended up being a way I was managing the effects of internal change.
To clarify, I was not the same person I was twenty years ago. No matter how many times people tried to put me back in the box they identified with me, I fought to get out.
But the struggle, until now, was all hidden in the back of my mind.
Writing eventually became a form of coping with the unexpected, unleashing any and all fears that had been limiting me.
What made this writing different for me was that I assured it was personal on all levels.
This meant I would write my story the old-fashioned way: pen and paper.
I bought a thick hardcover journal that I believe represented the current phase in my life. This particular one is full of inspirational quotes such as “Live the life you’ve always dreamed of,” “Never stop learning,” and “This life is yours to create.”
Did I mention it also has a purple book ribbon and its edges are etched in silver? (Among my two favorite colors.) Going with the theme of favorite hues, I committed to a blue felt tip pen—unconsciously assuring added attractiveness to the work of art I was producing.
It’s amazing how feeling the formation of words on a page give them added life.
If I would have shared my thoughts by typing on a computer I would have ended up with a completely different story.
On paper my ideas flow naturally, the good, the bad and the “I can’t believe I had that in me.”
In my opinion, the ability to physically scratch sentences out with a pen give the story more character. Perhaps it’s the validity that writing is art. Perfection is not what you’re after, but rather the form of expression that is right for you.
And so I wrote.
For six consecutive months I chronicled my real-time journey.
First I treated it like an experiment. Then it turned into a cathartic exercise into meeting the real me, the person who had been hiding under titles and roles for many years.
That’s when it all stopped.
“Wait, what am I writing about again?”
“What exactly am I doing?”
“Who am I?”
“What am I meant to be?”
Wow. Let’s just say it got deeper than I ever imagined.
Like a caterpillar entering metamorphosis, I entered a dark cocoon and patiently waited for something to change.
Writing this book had me questioning my why.
That is when I put the writing aside, finished up current projects for my business and began searching for another “safe” full-time job.
I figured it was easier to put back a title hat back on than deal with uncertainty.
As I got rejected over and over again, even at the point of being a final candidate for four separate positions, my faith became my last hope for direction.
There was a reason I wasn’t getting these jobs: I wasn’t done finding out who the real me was.
Fast forward to six months later, I can’t help but wonder how different my story would be if I had decided to type, rather than write, my words.
I can assure you that I would not have been as raw or vulnerable.
It’s interesting how the medium can make all the difference.
I thank my now dried-out blue felt tip pen for the courage to write out the words I had suppressed for so long.
I thank my journal for the daily words of encouragement both inside and out. The outside quotes reminded me why I started and the writing inside showed me how far I’d come.
And I thank the paper inside for not rushing my thoughts with the sight of a blinking cursor.
After some months of reflection, I’m ready to pick the pen back up. Although this butterfly has emerged from its dark cocoon, it has barely started to fly.
If you allow yourself to grow, the unexpected will never cease to exist.
And that’s a good thing.
Today I refuse to cope.
I want to challenge, innovate and thrive.
Perhaps the real reason I’ve always wanted to write a book was just revealed to me. And perhaps that was not supposed to be the book I published to the world, but rather the book that awakened me.
So now what?
Yes, you guessed it. I’m going to start writing a book.
This time, for real.